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Poster: SDH2O Date: Nov 27, 2006 9:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Night and Day

As I was getting ready for work this AM, I flicked on the tube, intending to check out the news over coffee. The channel was still on the Independent Film Channel from the night before. Guess what documentary was showning? "Gimme Shelter", the Stones tour video from 1970 that ends with the disaster at Altamont. As I watched this debacle, I couldn't help but draw comparisons to the Grateful Dead Movie. The comparison which for me highlights the core difference between the two, other than the dude gettting stabbed to death by a Hell's Angel after pulling a gun of course, is in the body language of two men. In the Stone's movie, near the end, they spotlight one of the Hell's Angels on stage who is obviously under the influence of some serious chemicals. This expressions crossing the man's face make Charles Manson look serene. I kept expecting his head to do a 360 and start spewing pea soup all over the audience as he babbled about what biblical acts your mother is performing in Hell. Very, very frightening to say the least. I immediately drew a mental comparison with him and his counterpart in the Bizzaro world: the dancin', smilin', overalls wearin' dude during U.S. Blues in the Dead movie. The smilin' dude embodies for me just what a Dead show was all about, a physical manifestation of the pure joy generated by a show. So here we have the Stones' wigged out dude (Hell's Angel),looking like he is one hair away from thinking that eating a kitten is a pretty damned good idea, providing security over an event where somebody was just killed 10 feet in frot of the stage, and the Dead's wigged out dude (Smiley)dancin and singing along, oblivious to anything but the energy generated by the band and the crowd; Night and Day.
PS This is in no way meant as a dig against the Stones or the Hell's Angels who previous to that disaster had provided security at some Dead shows with nowhere near the same terrible results.

This post was modified by SomeDarkHollow on 2006-11-27 17:15:16

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Nov 27, 2006 9:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Night and Day

Sadly, it was the Dead who actually recommended to Mick and Co. that they use the Angels, having--as you noted--used them w/out incident at their own shows.

Gimme Shelter is one of the best documentaries ever made, musical or not. So is "Don't Look Back" about dylan's England Tour as he was skyrocketing to fame. Amazing snapshot in/of time.

p.s. My favorite moment in Gimme Shelter is when someone informs Jerry that the Angels are "beating on musicians."

Jerry just waits a beat, and stoic as you can, just goes: "Bummer."

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Nov 27, 2006 9:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Night and Day

Supposedly the Dead bailed after hearing that Marty Balin was beaten unconscious onstage by an Angel. Bummer indeed. Gotta love Jerry.

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Poster: johnnyonthespot Date: Nov 27, 2006 12:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Night and Day

Gotta say I always respected Balin for that. Think about it. The man went on to write some pretty wimpy love songs and yet had the balls to jump into the crowd and take on some Angels! How cow!

I love the footage of the Airplane - sadly allmost none exists - and the burrito Bros. Also even though the Dead didn't perform, before festival express I had NEVER seen any vintage video of the band.

Oh yeah, and the Stones were actually good then even though Micks A-holeness is obvious.

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Nov 27, 2006 12:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Night and Day

Even then it was obvious that Mick was a marketing master. The Stones originally were going to appear at the festival as an unnanounced "special guest", but somehow (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, squire) word was "leaked" that the Stones woule be playing, thus ensuring a huge crowd for the cameras. But, oops, becasue of that Golden Gate Park said "not here, you don't" and the organizers had to rush out and find an alternate site, the result being that the entire things was a slipshod, slapped together, poorly manned disaster waiting to happen. The Angels, who had previously provided murder-free security at much smaller Dead shows, were now faced with an immense crowd and they kind of freaked.